A Perspective on #DefundThePolice

Years ago, as a naive but well meaning 30-something, I was walking and talking with a Black woman in her neighborhood, one of the poorest in Tidewater Virginia.  When she mentioned some recent problems with crime in the area, I asked why she didn’t call the police.  She snorted and said, “They are not our friends” and then went on to explain why.  

Her words shocked me, but I also learned something: not all Police see themselves as public servants. Some see themselves as an occupying force: “Us vs. Them.”  And, just like in any war zone, that breeds fear and hate.  Occupiers are not granted trust or respect.

With my eyes opened to this reality, it is distressing – and angering – to see just how prevalent this is in communities all over the country.  I am not at all surprised to see this anger boiling over now, it’s been a long time coming.

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